|Hi there! With just a week until Valentine’s Day, we are all in on romance: BookTok star Tessa Bailey tells us about her new secret-admirer romance and we shine a spotlight on the writing duo that currently reigns over the rom-com world. Plus, here are 50 (50!) of our favorite enemies-to-lovers romances. Not a romance fan? Today also brings readers a new novel from one of the world’s most iconic living writers. |
|Tessa Bailey’s Timeless Romance |
When gardener Hallie’s high school crush Julian returns to town to help with his family’s vineyard, Hallie writes him an anonymous letter confessing her feelings. She never intends for him to discover it, but when he does, she must decide if telling him the truth is worth risking their growing attraction to each other.
New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey has a massive fan base on BookTok. Her sweet and very spicy romances led Entertainment Weekly to call her the “Michelangelo of dirty talk.” Tessa’s new novel Secretly Yours is out today, so we sat down with her to hear all about it.
On the surface, Hallie and Julian couldn't be more different. What do you like about playing opposites off of each other?
Tessa Bailey: I truly cannot quit opposites attract romance! It’s my favorite. I think polar opposite characters can learn so much from each other. Hallie is a free spirit who doesn’t sweat the small stuff and that helps Julian, our hero, realize that his strict schedules are costing him joy. I think when two people are different and still find common ground/love, it’s a little extra rewarding!
What inspired the secret admirer element of the story?
TB: When I think of Napa, I think of old-fashioned, timeless romance. That played into my decision to have Hallie and Julian exchange physical letters. The book is set on a vineyard and winemaking is a very physical, earthy process. I loved the idea of the characters taking pen to paper. It’s a classic romance element woven into a modern story.
What inspired the secret admirer element of the story?
TB: I have a mega soft spot for August Cates. He’s introduced briefly in Secretly Yours, but he makes a big impact. He’s a former SEAL turned vintner and, right out of the gate, he’s my favorite type of hero: Big, lovable, stubborn and confused about his feelings. You can look for him in Unfortunately Yours, the second book in this duet.
Check out three books that make Tessa swoon:
|TB: “An underrated gem about a supermodel who ventures to Big Sur for a photoshoot and ends up falling in love with a nerdy, bookstore owner.”|
|Before I Let Go |
|TB: “One of the best second chance romances I’ve ever read—maybe the best.”|
|TB: “A female soccer player falls for her extremely gruff and demanding coach. It’s an unlikely friendship that has a twist at the end that will make you gasp and clutch at your heart.”|
|“And the monster? Who is she? She is what happens when someone cannot be saved. This particular monster is assaulted, abused and vilified. And yet, as the story is always told, she is the one you should fear. She is the monster. We’ll see about that.”|
|Stone Blind |
|In this mythology retelling, classicist and comedian Natalie Haynes revisits the story of Medusa—from the monster’s point of view.|
|20 Words: Guess The Novel|
|A teenager's rebound romance with an off-limits girl takes a deadly turn when their meddling families and church get involved.|
|Answer in footer|
|Together with |
|Spotlight on Christina Lauren |
|Writing duo and BFFs Christina Lauren have written 18 bestselling books together. They’re the queens of romantic comedies, but for readers who have yet to jump in, a backlist that long can be a little daunting! These three novels, all out in paperback now, are great places to start.|
|Something Wilder |
|When her old boyfriend Leo shows up on one of the fake treasure hunting trips that Lily leads through the Utah desert, she has no choice but to grin and bear his presence—until they discover that the treasure is real and both of their lives are in danger.|
|The Soulmate Equation |
|Single mom and statistician Jess reluctantly takes a job working for a dating app, and then is shocked to find she’s supposedly a 98% match with the app’s standoffish scientist founder.|
|Love and Other Words |
|We recently asked Likewise readers which of Christina Lauren’s standalone books is their favorite; this second chance romance was the clear winner.|
Salman Rushdie’s first novel since the attack that nearly ended his life last year is delighting and enchanting critics. The Atlantic calls it a “triumph,” Kirkus says it is “a grand entertainment,” and The New York Times praises its “irreverent exhilaration.”
|Victory City |
|Rushdie’s sprawling magical epic follows the centuries-long life of a girl turned demigod and the city she founded in the wake of her mother’s death.|
|The Big Debut|
Fans of queer teen love stories rejoice: James Acker’s debut novel is a stunning new addition to the genre. Author Abdi Nazemian says it’s “written with equal doses of heart and ferocity” and Kirkus applauds the “refreshingly credible images of the messy lives and desires” of the characters.
|The Long Run |
|A drunken kiss at a party reveals an unexpected connection between a star distance runner grieving his mom and a shot putter just trying to survive the chaos of his bustling family.|
|🙃 The Choose Your Own Adventure series meets its match in this perfect mashup.|
💁🏾♀️ Actress Kerry Washington will release a memoir this fall; surprisingly, she’s gone with a title that’s not Scandal.
⌛ FX canceled the show inspired by Octavia Butler’s time travel classic after one season.
📚 Calling all super readers! Appear in a new documentary called Books Across America (and get paid in books).
🏆 Viola Davis won a Grammy for the narration of her memoir Finding Me, earning herself an EGOT in the process.
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